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25 Feb 2003 : Column 528W—continued

NICE Products

Dr. Francis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many National Institute for Clinical Excellence products increased their price above the accepted rate of inflation in 2002; and whether his Department issues guidelines to NICE on what action to take in such circumstances; [97301]

Mr. Lammy [holding answers 12 February 2003]: Companies which are members of the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme may not increase the price of any branded licensed National Health Service medicine Without the prior approval of the Department of Health. The Department's records show that none of the pharmaceutical products appraised by National Institute for Clinical Excellence were increased in price during 2002.

The NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency negotiates contracts for other products on behalf of the NHS in England. The Agency is not aware of any products where the price has increased as a direct result of a positive appraisal by NICE.

Non-UK Nationals (Treatment Costs)

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the cost to the NHS of treating non-UK nationals in each of the last five years. [98841]

Mr. Hutton: The information requested is not collected centrally.

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Overseas Health Treatment

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what protocols are in place to clarify the responsibility and funding arrangements for the follow-up care of NHS patients sent abroad for treatment; how he has ensured that GPs and consultants are aware of them; and what advice he has given GPs and consultants on measures to take if they identify complications from the treatment or have concerns about the standard of care of those patients. [98104]

Mr. Hutton: The responsibility and funding arrangements for the follow-up care of National Health Service patients referred abroad for treatment are clarified in the contracts held with overseas providers. These contracts define the clinical and non-clinical service to be provided; normally these specify that the overseas provider will provider a complete package of care, requiring no further intervention by the NHS when the patients return to the United Kingdom.

General practitioners and consultants are briefed by their local trust on the arrangements for the follow-up care of patients that have received treatment abroad. If a GP or consultant identifies complications following treatment abroad, or has any concerns regarding standards of care, they are advised to raise their concerns according to the same procedures that would apply to any other NHS patient. This would involve highlighting the concern with the trust, which can then pursue the matter with either the overseas clinician or the relevant lead commissioner.

Oxfordshire Community Health Council

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what organisations will replace the Oxfordshire Community Health Council. [95942]

Mr. Lammy: There will be patients' forums to monitor and review services from the patients perspective and to represent their views, overview and scrutiny committees that scrutinise health and independent support for patients wanting to complain against the national health service.

Patient Care Advisers

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list for each London NHS trust whether a patient care adviser has been appointed for (a) ear, nose and throat patients and (b) general surgery patients who will be eligible for the London pilot scheme extending patient choice from spring 2003. [97377]

Mr. Hutton: The London National Health Service trusts with patients on their waiting lists for more than six months who will be participating in the London scheme extending patient choice from spring 2003 are:

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The patient care advisers are appointed to manage a number of trusts from the list, rather than particular specialties. However all patients participating in the London patient choice scheme will be allocated an individual patient care adviser.

Penalty Clauses

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the contracts entered into with private sector companies for the provision of goods or services in the NHS since 1998 which have included penalty clauses for non-performance. [97650]

Mr. Lammy: Records are not held centrally for all contracts entered into with private sector companies for the provision of goods or services in the national health service.

Perinatal Deaths

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many perinatal deaths there were in each of the last 10 years; what the most common causes of perinatal deaths are; what figures he has collated on the rate of perinatal deaths in the UK compared to European countries and the USA; and what he is doing to reduce the number of perinatal deaths. [99081]

Jacqui Smith: The number and rate of perinatal deaths (stillbirths plus deaths at ages up to six completed days of life) in each of the last 10 years for England and Wales and also causes of perinatal deaths in 2001, are shown in the tables. Eurostat, the Statistical Office 0f European Communities collates statistics across Europe (Eurostat: Key data on health 2000 (1999) pg 170). However, due to differences in the definition of stillbirths, perinatal mortality figures are not completely comparable between the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe, nor with the USA.

As part of the work on the maternity module of the children's national service framework, the Post Birth and Baby Sub Group is developing national standards to ensure the safety and well being of the baby and will cover issues such as resuscitation, need for assessment, and the immediate needs of the new born. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence will also draw up clinical guidelines.

In addition we are increasing the number of doctors and midwives to provide better support for women in established labour and thereby improve outcomes for both mother and child, and we have invested an additional £100 million in refurbishment and equipment for maternity suites.

Perinatal deaths England and Wales 1992—2001

NumberRate per 1,000 total births

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*For data from 1993, the definition of a stillbirth changed from 28 weeks to 24 weeks gestation.
** Provisional

Perinatal deaths by ONS cause groups England and Wales 2001 (provisional)

ONS cause group*NumberRate
All causes47408.0
Congenital anomalies8261.4
Antepartum infections530.1
Immaturity related conditions9761.6
Asphyxia, anoxia or trauma2600.4
External conditions120.0
Other specific conditions1910.3
Antepartum stillbirths23333.9
Sudden infant death10.0
Other conditions780.1
Total births597,694

*2001 data based on ONS cause groups developed in ICD10.
Office for National Statistics (ONS)


Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what plans he has to consult local pharmacists regarding the proposed deregulation of pharmacists; [97703]

Mr. Lammy: We are considering the report from the Director General of Fair Trading and its findings and recommendation carefully.

We have invited views on the report and I have met representatives and officers of the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, the National Pharmaceutical Association and the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies to hear their preliminary views as well as the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain and many of the larger pharmacy contractors. The views of these and other interested parties will help inform the Government response which my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, is co-ordinating.

Protection of Vulnerable Adults List

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the Protection of Vulnerable Adults list. [98725]

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Jacqui Smith: The implementation of the Protection of Vulnerable Adults list has been delayed until the Department is confident that the Criminal Records Bureau will be able to implement checks against the list. The list will be introduced at the earliest opportunity.

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